Food trucks have had a tough time in operating in Windy City over the years, but two mobile entrepreneurs are trying to make a difference. Not only are Kristin Casper and Greg Burke the co-owners of the Schnitzel King food truck, they are also vocal advocates of the mobile food industry in Chicago.
After feeding the tailgating crowds before Bears game for a few years, Burke decided to turn his love for cooking into a business. Casper and Burke took a retired 70’s postal truck and converted it into a mobile food business. Now, instead of delivering mail, the truck now delivers Eastern European style schnitzel. You might even say, “Rain or shine, snow or sleet, they deliver your schnitzel!”
The Schnitzel King hit the streets of Chicago in November of 2011, selling Burke’s recipe for schnitzel. “Most people think schnitzel is a sausage,” Ms. Casper has said. “We enjoy bringing a bit of our Eastern European heritage to Chicago. This is both of our dreams come true.”
Their signature item, the Chicago Schnitzel Sandwich, is a pork cutlet fried to a golden brown, topped with onions and peppers and then layered between bread from local Chicago bakery, “Turano.” Other menu options, all made with local ingredients when possible, will include a veal version, as well as a sweet potato schnitzel.
Their menu also features Burke’s great-grandmother’s Czech potato salad. Their sweet treats include an apricot & raspberry kolaczki, banana bars and chocolate sheet cake.
In regards to their industry advocacy, they have consistently shared their opinions publically. When Chicago city aldermen voted for a law which allowed truck owners to finally cook on board (but also added numerous restrictions and fines) these politicians claimed they were trying to balance the interests of food truck operators against those of already established restaurants.
While government should have a role in food safety, it should not be picking the winners and losers in the restaurant business. Because of this Schnitzel Queen Casper couldn’t hold her tongue. Not only did she write numerous editorials on the topic, but became part of an upcoming legal battle. Along with the Institute for Justice and another local food truck operator, the team has brought lawsuit against the city of Chicago. The suit, which claims Chicago’s food truck law violates the state’s constitution, also takes issue with the requirement that every mobile food operator install a GPS tracking device at their expense. The suit states that the requirement “is not necessary to further any legitimate government interest, and does not provide a constitutionally adequate substitute for a warrant” and only “exists to enforce the 200-foot proximity restriction.”
The Schnitzel King food truck can be found on the streets of Chicago and it’s surrounding suburbs.
The Weiner Schnitzel Sandwich: The key ingredient in this delicious sandwich is the homemade brown spicy mustard. It gives the sandwich a nice little bite.
What their fans have said:
“Most food trucks don’t give you a lot of bang for your buck, but this guy does. You get a giant sandwich for your $7, and it’s definitely worth it! You won’t walk around hungry afterwards, I guarantee, and it tastes great, too.” Susan S. - Evanston, IL